It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and the only way to survive is to have some clear career goals. It doesn’t mean that you can’t change careers halfway through your life, but there are some general goals that will help make your career path a smoother one. The sooner you perfect these skills as suggested by Mashable.com, the brighter your future will be.
1 / 20
1. Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch
The idea of an elevator pitch is that it should tell someone who you are and what you do in the time an elevator ride normally takes, which is between 30 seconds and two minutes. Be sure that yours will leave a lasting impression.
2 / 20
2. Know What You’re Really, Really Good At
Everybody has one talent, skill or character trait that makes them shine. Know what yours is and how best to use it and you’ll not only ace that job interview but you’ll be a superstar at the office too.
3 / 20
3. Know Your Weaknesses
Just like you need to know how to work with what you’ve got, you need to know how to make the best of what you haven’t got. If you know where your weaknesses lie, you can find colleagues or employees with the right strengths to make up for your weaknesses.
4 / 20
4. Know How to Delegate
As Mashable points out, you need to know what you should be spending your time on and what you should leave for others to do. Teamwork is essential in a corporate environment and you need to learn to trust your teammates with certain tasks rather than try and do it all yourself.
5 / 20
5. Learn How to Say No
It’s one of the hardest but most important life skills to learn: how to say no so that you don’t get taken advantage of or become swamped with too many responsibilities. The real challenge is in learning how to say no without looking like you’re not a team player.
6 / 20
6. Know What You Really Want, and Don’t Want, From Your Career
Throughout your 20s, it’s okay to experiment and find out who you really are. By the time you’re 35, however, you should have learned which aspects of any job are simply non-negotiable to you. This way, you can grab the perfect opportunity and pass up those that won’t fulfill you.
7 / 20
7. Challenge Yourself
If you never step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never get to discover those talents you didn’t know you had. So, do something scary or new every once in a while. What’s the worst that can happen?
8 / 20
8. Learn From Your Mistakes
Even the most successful people in the world have made mistakes in their professional lives. What sets the winners apart is how they’ve learned from those mistakes and bounced back to go on to bigger, better things.
9 / 20
9. Do Something That Makes You Proud
We all need to be able to look back one day and say, ‘Now that’s something I’m really proud of.’ It doesn’t have to be something spectacular but be sure to have at least one item in your resumé that you’d like others to notice. Those achievements will also help you get through the hard days when you wonder if it’s all worth it.
10 / 20
10. Learn How to Give Feedback
If nobody knows about a problem, they can’t do anything to fix it. Therefore, you need to learn how to give feedback, whether it’s to your boss or a subordinate, without causing resentment. Remember that positive feedback is just as important as negative feedback.
11 / 20
11. Learn How to Accept Feedback
Mashable says that if you want to grow as a professional, you need to know where you’re falling short. The secret is not to take criticism personally and let it knock you down. However, you also need to know how to accept a compliment with grace.
12 / 20
12. Build up a Trusted Support Network
The old adage ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ has never rung more true than in today’s business world. The sooner you start building positive relationships with people you can trust, who can help you and mentor you, the sooner you can start tasting career success.
13 / 20
13. Clean up Your Online Presence
More and more prospective employers and clients Google you or check your social media profiles even before meeting you. Be sure that what they’ll find is what you want them to know. There are tools you can use to get rid of regrettable pictures and posts but also get a killer LinkedIn profile and learn how to use social media wisely.
14 / 20
14. Become a Great Salesperson
As Mashable points out, you’re going to sell something at some point, whether it’s that idea you’re pitching to your boss or the cover letter that goes with your job application. Learn how to convince others of your ideas and you’ll be climbing the career ladder in no time.
15 / 20
15. Have a Killer Portfolio
If you want people to know what you’ve got, you have to show them what you’ve got. Have a well-organized portfolio of your best work, whether it’s some designs you’ve created, a campaign you’ve worked on or simply a personal website where you can show off your skills.
16 / 20
16. Learn How to Negotiate
Negotiation skills are incredibly important in the workplace. Mashable says that it’s because negotiating is the only way of getting what you want and deserve. Being able to negotiate is also one of the best ways to resolve workplace conflicts.
17 / 20
17. Learn How to Send Professional Emails
Often the only way for a client or a supplier to get an idea of who you are is through your emails to them. Ensure that your emails are always clear, professional, well-thought-through and polite. If your spelling isn’t up to scratch, learn how to use your computer’s spell-checker.
18 / 20
18. Know How to Work With Your Energy Levels
Everyone has certain times of the day when their energy levels slump or spike. If you know when you normally perform at your best, you can arrange your day so that you do the important tasks when your mind is sharp and clear. It’s also important to get enough sleep to keep your energy levels up.
19 / 20
19. Find the Best System for Managing Time and Workload
Some people begin their day by writing down a to-do list while others find that lists just bog them down. Find what system works best for you and amend your system when it’s not as efficient as it should be, so that you can become more productive.
20 / 20
20. Learn How to Manage Stress
We all need a little bit of stress to push us into getting things done but too much stress can lead to professional mistakes and a host of health problems. Learn how to differentiate between good stress and bad stress and learn how to manage your stress levels. Mashable suggests that you consider talking to a professional for tips if stress becomes too much of a problem.